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United States extends support for Covid response
The United States has so far provided over US$13 million in support of Laos’ battle against Covid-19 since March 2020.
In addition to the health sector, the US government is committed to helping the Lao government address the impacts of the pandemic on the education system, the economy, and the rule of law, US Ambassador to Laos Dr Peter M. Haymond said.
Speaking at a ceremony to hand over the latest delivery of Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to Laos on Wednesday, Dr Haymond said the United States will continue its support for businesses, the education system, health care, persons with disabilities, and the rule of law.


The United States’ support to Laos consists of mitigating the wide-ranging economic and social impacts of the pandemic, he said.
Assistance to Laos’ Small and Medium Enterprises and start-ups will give them better opportunities to access the financing needed to seek new markets through assistance funding from the USA, including access to finance funds from the USA network, he added.
The United States’ assistance to the Lao government is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises, strengthening governance and the rule of law, promoting inclusive education, and advancing health and education outcomes for the Lao people. 
All of this assistance encourages sustainable and inclusive development, along with market-driven growth.
In the health sector, the United States is strengthening Laos’s capacity to safely and effectively distribute Covid-19 vaccines, as well as providing help for people with disabilities, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and in other fields related to the health sector, Dr Haymond said.
“We have also provided some funding to the Ministry of Health for the training of medical staff to enable them to broaden their knowledge in terms of their technical skills so they can provide the correct treatment,” he added.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States has provided personal protective equipment to the ministry to enable health workers throughout Laos to respond quickly and safely to people who become ill.    
In the education sector, continuing the United States’ support to Laos in strengthening academic institutions, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Education and Sports last year launched the new Study and Modeling of Management Capacity and System Strengthening Project.
Minister of Health Dr Bounfeng Phoummalaysith said that for a number of years the United States government has played an important role in the development of various sectors in Laos including the health sector, agriculture cooperatives, the economy, and justice, as well as the legal education sector.
The United States and Laos have seen good results in terms of providing healthcare to safely and effectively distribute Covid-19 vaccines, he added.
In addition to providing emergency assistance, the United States works in close partnership with the government and citizens of Laos on a range of programmes to improve health outcomes. 
These include long-term efforts to improve nutrition through school feeding, programmes to address maternal and child health, and efforts to address and prevent infectious diseases.

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
 (Latest Update January 28, 2022)

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